Wednesday, 22 August 2007

The Poliblogs 22nd August 2007

Will taxes ever be cut in the UK?

As we edge close to the next recession (or Depression, depending on how much the financiers screw everything up), alarm bells are ringing in my head about the future that taxpayers face

City Unslicker

How seriously should we take the terrorist threat?

Econlog repeats the claims of John Mueller that the threat from terrorism is being taken too seriously. Bryan Caplan, the brilliant analyst who is one of the two men behind Econlog, argues that we have enough data now to be clear that the risk posed by terrorists is small in the scheme of things.

Daniel Finkelstein

Why can’t researchers get their facts right?

David Cameron has made an embarrassing error by wrongly claiming that maternity services at King’s Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital were under threat in his latest high profile announcement of NHS reforms. The fault was blamed on a typing error, according to this report in the Eastern Daily Press.

Ellee Seymour

Labelling Boris a bigot is pathetic

The Guardian reports today that Compass, the leftwing pressure group, has compiled a dossier accusing Boris of being “Norman Tebbit in a clown’s uniform”. Well, now: I admire Norman and hate clowns with equal vigour, and so find this an intrinsically distasteful notion. But the strategy adopted by Compass – namely that Our Candidate is a crypto-fascist – is very good news for his campaign.

Coffee House

Alexander wins one horse race

And then there was one. One candidate for the Scottish Labour leadership, that is. For the avoidance of doubt, that candidate is Wendy Alexander.

She received nominations from 41 out of 46 Labour MSPs. And she knows the names of the infamous five. Only joking.

Blether with Brian

Cameron repeats call to scrap Human Rights Act

The Press Association is reporting that the Conservative leader has repeated his call for the Human Rights Act to be scrapped and replaced with a British Bill of Rights. Interviewed by BBC radio in the West Midlands he accused Labour of being "blind" to the HRA's failings.

Conservative Home

Human rights have actually taken away our liberty

The state does not give us rights and I don't believe in human rights because they do not exist. There, I said it. This might cause outrage amongst some people. In fact for some I imagine it will be taken as evidence of my crypto-fascism. This is an unfortunate by-product of the intellectual atmosphere in which we now live (certainly in the UK) when the subject of those ever so emotional human rights are discussed.

Dizzy Thinks

How society has failed Frances Lawrence

Frances Lawrence has been doing the rounds on TV and radio today, expressing her outrage at the fact that her husbands murderer will not now be deported when he finishes his sentence. For liberals, issues such as these place us in a tricky position. No-one wishes to cause Frances Lawrence or her family any further grief, but what if pretty much everything she says is utterly wrong?

Quaequam Blog

Scrapping the Human Rights Act

The Human Rights Act is a British Bill of Rights, isn't it? It's simply the expression in British law of he European Convention on Human Rights....which, even if we repeal that specific Act still holds true. All that changes is that instead of using the British courts to get such rights enforced, people would have to use the European ones. Do correct me if I'm wrong, but that's the situation, isn't it?

Further, I'm not even all that sure that it's this Act that is the problem here. Isn't it, rather, EU law: the freedom of movement of people? As he's an EU citizen, we can't deport him (or even if we can, we can't stop him coming back)?

Tim Worstall

Deportation, EU Law and Human Rights

The Italian man convicted of murdering Philip Lawrence has been successful in avoiding deportation, horrifying many. Two things call for comment:

Live Journal

Laughing all the way to City Hall

Boris Johnson's perceived buffoonishness is exactly why many people like him. Labour may need a different point of attack in the mayoral election race.

Michael White

Vote for holidays!

A proposal for extra public holidays might seem at odds with recent Conservative statements, but it would be ripe for the picking by Labour.

Brendan Barber

Prezza To Announce Retirement as MP Saturday

The Hull Daily Mail is reporting that Prezza will tell constituency activists at a party at his home on Saturday that he intends to step down as an MP. After trousering £300,000 for his memoirs (ghost written obviously) this was always on the cards.

Guido Fawkes

Has the media got wise to Gord’s policy stealing?

It struck me while re-watching this on the net a couple of night’s ago that something significant was happening. That the standard Brown approach of closing down debates by stealing popular policies from his opponents might not be so easy in the future.

Political Betting

Bonkers Conkers and Health and Safety: Response from the Institution of Occupational Health and Safety

I have had a detailed response from the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health to my article “Do Health and Safety Professionals Get too Much of a Kicking?” I reproduce it full here.

I am absorbing the large number of detailed comments made on the posting, and the discussion in the Public Forum on the IOSH website, and will post a considered response in a couple of days.

The Wardman Wire

Hold Brown accountable, draw up some doorstep policies and get a little bit angry

Hold Brown accountable for the Blair-Brown years. A member of my family told me last week that they would be voting for Gordon Brown. They've voted Conservative at the last few elections but felt that Brown deserved "a fair go". It's urgent that we tackle this. Conservatives need to make it clear that Brown has been at Blair's side for every big decision that has been taken since 1997.

Conservative Home

What did the Tories say about this?

Some months ago, the distinguished academic Sir Peter Williams accepted that 'A' levels had grown easier. This is significant, because Sir Peter had just been chosen by Gordon Brown to take charge of overhauling maths exams in schools. Dr Robert Coe of Durham University has also produced convincing research that establishes the existence of grade inflation beyond doubt.

Peter Hitchens

In defense of 'Mickey Mouse degrees'

Three cheers for Universities UK, who have today hit back at those siren voices who have been systematically grabbing cheap headlines by attacking legitimate degree subjects. They have responded to a report by the Taxpayers’ Alliance, an umbrella group that lobbies for lower taxes and allegedly highlights public sector “waste” to support its case, which has singled out two Welsh institutions – the University of Glamorgan and the Welsh College of Horticulture – for issuing “non-degrees”.

Peter Black

The "Facebook Faker" is revealed... as a stupid person

Having been at first quite irritated by this, you may have guessed that I now find this whole thing very very amusing. And just in case my day looked like it may have been dull, what pops into my email box but a message from the "Facebook Faker"! Oh yes - it came from the famous e-mail address and this is what it said:

Little’s Blog

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